December 30, 2012

Highlights of 2012

With only 2 days left till the New Year, I've been reflecting on the highlights of 2012. It was possibly the most tiring, but also most exciting year of my life so far. Why? My little boy Luca was born. Here are the rest of the highlights of my year.

1. I started 2012 already 3 months pregnant and I spent the first 6 months of the year getting bigger and bigger.

2. I spent the second 6 months of the year getting the hang of this motherhood business (and no, I don't have it all figured out yet!)

3. With a newborn baby sucking up all my time and energy I worked out how to do my make up in record time.

4. While pregnant I got into DIYs, making my own jewellery and even nailpolish with eyeshadow.
Bead necklace // Revamped necklace // Refashioned necklace // DIY Scrub

5. I also got obsessed with Essie nail polishes as being free of nasty chemicals they were safe to use during pregnancy.

6. I fell in love with the most beautiful, suit-all shade of blush ever.
Illamasqua Naked Rose blush

7. I finally found a foundation that I worked well on my dry skin.
MAC Studio Sculpt foundations in NC25 and NW25

8. And a hair mask that worked on my dry hair.

9. I still love my bright lipsticks.

10. But also know how to get more use out of a too pale lipstick.

Overall I've had a great year, and I'm looking forward to 2013 being even better. Blogging-wise I feel I haven't been able to devote as much energy to Makeup and Macaroons as I would have liked to, but I'll be concentrating on that in the new year. In the next few weeks I'd like to run a survey here as I'd love to get your feedback on how you think my blog is going, and what you'd like to see more of here, but until then... Have a Happy and Safe New Year!

How was your 2012 year? 
Are you ready to welcome in the New Year?

December 29, 2012

I'm on Beautyholics Anonymous

Hi all, just a quick note to let you know I'm featured on one of my favourite blogs, Beautyholics Anonymous. So if you'd like to know what random thing I carry in my bag, my dream holiday destination or even what's on my bucket list head on over HERE and have a read... just promise not to make fun of what's on my bucket list. And while you're there have a browse of Tine's blog, besides her excellent beauty product reviews her Bloggie Wednesday series will keep you coming back for more.

Thanks so much for featuring me Tine!

December 24, 2012

Merry Christmas!

Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas for tomorrow! This Christmas is a very special one for us as it's my little boy's first Christmas, even though at less than 6 months old he's too young to know what's going on! Hope you have a wonderful day however you end up spending it. We will be spending the day with family, and isn't that what it's all about?

Merry Christmas xo

December 22, 2012

Gradient glitter nails in 4 easy steps

I don't know if it's the holiday season or what, but lately I've been into glitter nails, especially when tastefully done in a gradient style.

This is actually very very easy to do, so here's quick tutorial for you.

Gradient glitter nails in 4 easy steps
  1. Apply 2 coats of your base colour and wait to dry - I used Lime Crime nail polish in Milky Way
  2. Apply a sheer coat of your glitter half way up the nail and wait to dry - I used Sally Hansen Gem Crush nail polish in Big Money
  3. Apply another coat of glitter half way up the first coat
  4. Finish with a top coat - I used China Glaze No-Chip Top Coat
Products used - Lime Crime "Milky Way", Sally Hansen "Big Money", China Glaze top coat

Here are some pictures of the finished look in various lighting conditions. I'm really loving this style of nail art as it's not too over the top. Using complementary colours of cream base colour and golden glitter the overall look is festive without screaming for attention.
Outdoors in shade
Outdoors, in sunlight

Do you like this nail look? 
Are you a fan of glitter polishes?

December 20, 2012

Cheap dupes for MAC Impassioned lipstick

MAC Impassioned lipstick is my absolute all time favourite colour. It's a gorgeous watermelon red, not quite pink, not quite orange. Just perfect. It's also a pro colour and is sometimes difficult to find so I try to limit how often I use it lest I run out of it and can't find a replacement!

Well over time I've somehow amassed a few cheaper alternatives which are pretty close to Impassioned in colour. I'll let you judge for yourself.

From left to right:
  • MAC "Impassioned" - The original and the best. I love its creamy formula and lovely vanilla smell. Price $36
  • Chi Chi "Fashion Police" - This is quite a matte shade and is slightly warmer than Impassioned, but is still a good dupe if you can't find the original. Chi Chi is available at Myer, Gloss and target stores and costs $18.95. 
  • BYS "Revenge" - This shade is slightly more red than Impassioned, and the formula is a bit drier than the MAC one but at $4.95 you can't go wrong if you get it.
  • BYS "Temper Tantrum" - This colour is slightly warmer toned than Impassioned, and it's also a bit sheerer than the original. But again at $4.95 you won't feel bad for getting it. 
  • Golden Rose "#53" - This is the closest in colour and texture to MAC Impassioned. Unfortunately this brand is only available in Europe (where it costs approx 3 euro) so my European readers are in luck.   
All prices above are in Australian dollars.

Here are the swatches below where you can see the comparison even better. Please note the one up top is taken in sunlight, and the one on the bottom is taken in the shade. No flash has been used in either of the pics. 
Swatches of MAC Impassioned lipstick dupes

What do you think of these dupes? 
Do you know of any others?

December 17, 2012

Soft Green Smokey Eye Tutorial

Ever since Pantone announced that the colour for next year is Emerald I've been obsessed with all things green. Here is a simple soft green smokey eye tutorial.

Eye products used
  • Jordana Color Extend Eyeliner in Blackout
  • Make Up Store Multi-lash Mascara in Black*
  • MAC eyeshadows in Humid, Moleskin & Phloof

1. Apply black eyeliner in a thick line on top lashline
2. Smudge the black eyeliner all over the lid
3. Apply MAC Humid all over lid over the smudged liner
4. Apply MAC Humid on bottom lashline
5. & 6. Using MAC Moleskin buff the edges so there are no harsh lines
7. Apply MAC Phloof on brow bone
8. Smudge a bit more black eyeliner in the out V area
9. & 10. Finish with 3 coats of mascara on top and bottom lashes.

Here is the completed look. When I wear colour on my eyes I like to keep my cheeks and lips fairly neutral. In this look I'm wearing my favourite blush, Naked Rose by Illamasqua, and BYS lipstick in Sassy Salmon.
On cheeks: Illamasqua Naked Rose blush. On lips: BYS Sassy Salmon lipstick

Hope you like the tutorial. Let me know what you think in the comments below.

*PR sample

December 15, 2012

5 Reasons To Shop At Gloss Cosmetics

I've been a long time shopper at Gloss Cosmetics, more specifically their Parramatta store from back when there was only the wee small store there. I actually work not far from Parramatta Westfield (that is, when I'm not on maternity leave!) so many a lunch break have been spent perusing the Gloss stands for a fix of affordable cosmetics and accessories.

Gloss Parramatta Flagship Store
I'm sure you've seen my previous Gloss haul posts here on the blog before. So when I received an invite to check out their brand new, bigger than ever, Flagship store at Westfield Parramatta I was absolutely excited. Leaving my little boy at home for some daddy bonding time I headed over this morning to check out the store.
Gloss Parramatta flagship store - Level 2 Parramatta Westfield

They had the girls from I Scream Nails over doing free nail art for the opening festivities. I got my nails done, with a diamond feature nail AND got to walk my nails down the nail red carpet and captured it on the Manicam. Hilarious!
Getting my nails done by the I Scream Nails girls, and some of the nail designs available in store.

You can check out some more of the nail paparazzi poses HERE. Or if you want to see the Manicam in action click HERE.

5 Reasons To Shop At Gloss Cosmetics

As I've been on mat leave for the past 5 months I hadn't stepped foot in Gloss in that long. Going there again made me think of why I like the store. And yes, I did do some hauling while there, but that'll be another post.

1. They are affordable. Some days you need a cosmetics fix without breaking the bank. Maybe a bright lipstick for less than $5. Or some shimmer nail polish. Hey why not even a studded clutch or a charm necklace for around $20? You can find them all at Gloss, at very affordable prices.

2. They are on trend. If you're like me then you probably don't want to spend a lot of money on items that are trendy now, but will make you cringe in horror in a year's time. Neon jewellery? Yep, it's cool now, but will you still like it next year? That's why it's great when you can find those trendy-now items at a really cheap price at Gloss, so you can get your fix now, but not worry about wasting your money.
Accessories starting at $4.95

3. Their staff are friendly. I'm sure you've all experienced snobby service from some cosmetic stores. I definitely have! There is one particular store (that shall remain nameless) where I always experienced snootiness until somehow they found out I'm a beauty blogger and they started putting on the charm. Not cool. Well at Gloss I've always experienced friendly service no matter which one of their stores I've gone to.
Lovely Glossies

4. They are in convenient locations. You know how some cosmetic stores are only in certain trendy locations? Like Paddington or Surry Hills? Well Gloss recognizes that there are beauty lovers all over the country, and that going to those funky suburbs is not always convenient for them so they have over 20 stores in suburbia nationally with more opening all the time. Click HERE for a complete list of their store locations.

5. They look after their customers. Did I mention there was free fairy floss at the opening weekend? I love fairy floss! The reason I go to the Easter Show is not for the rides, the showbags or the animals, it's for the fairy floss! Besides fairy floss, after the opening festivities you can get FREE nail art if you spend $50 in the Parramatta store. Or it's $25 if you don't qualify for the FREE mani.

Do you have a Gloss store near you? 
Have you shopped there before?

Note: This is a sponsored post

December 14, 2012

L'Oreal Nude Magique BB Cream Review & GIVEAWAY

I'm not going to explain what a BB Cream is, I'm sure you've heard enough about it as they have taken the bloggosphere by storm. There are so many versions out there, from the original Asian brands to drugstore brands. Nude Magique BB Cream by L'Oreal has been on the market for a few months now and the lovely ladies over at L'Oreal sent me one to try out.
L'Oreal Nude Magique BB Cream
What they say
L’Oréal Paris Nude Magique BB Cream combines original and dynamic technology to create the most intelligent BB Cream on the market. The revolutionary formula offers the science of cosmetics, combined with renowned skincare expertise of L’Oréal Paris, and literally transforms your skin before your eyes! Plus, dynamic ingredients offer a myriad of instant benefits including the evening of skin complexion, reducing sun spots and imperfections, boosting a healthy natural glow, protecting the skin with SPF 12 UV protection and providing up to 24HR of intense hydration. Nude Magique BB Cream is the perfect solution for women on-the-go who want to achieve a light enhanced, perfect nude complexion everyday.

What I say
This BB Cream comes in Fair and Medium and promises to adjust to your skintone. It contains micro pigment capsules that go on white but adjust to your skintone as your rub it in.

- Feels very lightweight
- Dries quickly and is non-sticky
- Looks very natural on
- Light to medium buildable coverage - that said, it won't give you the coverage of a foundation, but it will instead make you
  look like you have naturally clear skin with some blemishes still showing through.
- Wears quite well for a BB cream - 6 hours of wear without a touch up

- These tend to oxidize (at least on me it did) and does get darker after a few hours of wear. However when I wore it with
  powder on top the colour stayed the same. So either get the lighter shade, or powder it down if your skin reacts to makeup
  and oxidizes it.

This is how it looks applied to my face... behold, you're about to see me without makeup! And yes, that IS a towel wrapped around my head. That's how I am most mornings after a shower, with a towel worn as a turban while I do my makeup.

As you can see from the picture on the right, while my spots are still showing through, my skin looks evened out. It's perfect for those days when you don't want to wear foundation but still want to trick people into thinking you have perfect skin. 

I have 2 tubes (Fair & Medium) of L'Oreal Nude Magique BB Cream to giveaway to 1 lucky winner. All you have to do is be a follower of my blog via GFC (there are also optional extra entries). Simply fill out the form below and you're in with a chance. The winner will be picked by Full terms & conditions are in the form. Australia only. Entries close midnight Saturday 22 December 2012.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

December 13, 2012

Emerald green is Pantone's colour of the year for 2013

Each year Pantone chooses a colour they deem to be the colour of the following year. This year it was Tangerine Tango (which I blogged about HERE). For 2013 they have declared Emerald as THE colour. In case you're wondering how they choose the colour of the year, according to wiki the company hosts a secret meeting of representatives from various nations' colour standards groups and after two days of presentations and debate they make their decision. Sounds very Da Vinci Code to me!

This is what they said about Emerald, the chosen colour of 2013.

"Most often associated with brilliant, precious gemstones, the perception of Emerald is sophisticated and luxurious. Since antiquity, this luminous, magnificent hue has been the color of beauty and new life in many cultures and religions. It’s also the color of growth, renewal and prosperity – no other color conveys regeneration more than green. For centuries, many countries have chosen green to represent healing and unity. 

Symbolically, Emerald brings a sense of clarity, renewal and rejuvenation, which is so important in today’s complex world. This powerful and universally appealing tone translates easily to both fashion and home interiors" (source)

Personally I'm a huge fan of emerald green. It looks good on blondes, brunettes and especially redheads. It's such a striking colour yet also easy on the eye. So expect to see lots and lots of green hitting the stores next year, whether in clothes, makeup or accessories. This makes me happy.

Here are some emerald green options to tickle your fancy.

1. Jack by BB Dakota dress - link
2. Matthew Williamson Swarovski embellished clutch - link
3. Colette Metal & Enamel bib necklace - link
4. Illamasqua nail varnish in Rampage - link
5. Urban Decay 24/7 Glide On eye pencil in Clinic - link
6. NYX single eyeshadow in Wild Fire - link
7. Ivanka Trump Caudaline shoes - link

What do you think of Emerald as the colour of the year?

*contains affiliate links

December 11, 2012

Shopping my stash - China Glaze 2Nite nail polish

I was raiding my makeup draws in search of a nail polish that was not my usual peach/pink/mint colour and came across China Glaze 2Nite. I actually picked this up at a blogger swap quite a while ago and promptly forgot about it. I don't even know how I could forget about this shade as it's a B.E.A.U.T.Y.
China Glaze 2Nite - with flash
It's a holographic shade and looks best either under sunlight or artificial light. That said, it's quite lovely even in the shade. China Glaze 2Nite is opaque after 2 coats, and just like all my other China Glaze shades it's quite long lasting without any chips.
China Glaze 2Nite - Natural Light
China Glaze 2Nite - Artificial light
China Glaze 2Nite - With Flash

The only downside is 2Nite is a discontinued shade and is extremely hard to find. The only place I could find it was on ebay and they were selling it at a rip off price of $42!!! Can you believe it? Over $40 for a nail polish? Puhleeze. If you really really like this colour, NFU Oh Holo Nail Lacquer in #65 is very similar, just a tad lighter, and it's still available on Crush Cosmetics.

Have you tried this colour?

Do like holo nail polishes?

December 10, 2012

What's it REALLY like holidaying with a 5 month old?

It's no secret that the husband and I love to travel. No destination is too far for us to travel to if that's what takes our fancy. But with a baby things have changed. We're planning on going to Armenia next year to visit my relatives, but that's a long 14hr flight from Sydney to Dubai then another 4 hours from Dubai to Yerevan. We thought before we do a big trip like that with the baby we might take a quick weekend getaway not far from home. Like a trial holiday. So last week we drove up to Palm Beach in Sydney's northern beaches (which is only an hour's drive from our home) and stayed there for 3 days.

Some iPhone snaps from our mini-holiday

So what's it really like to holiday with a 5 month old? Well, this is what the mini-break was like, let me tell you that the experience was very different to what we're used to.

Seriously though it wasn't all bad! It was good to get away from our surroundings for a while. And it was awesome to see the expression on my baby's face when seeing and experiencing new things, such as dipping his feet in the ocean. Plus I welcomed the change from my current daily routine, which is a bit like a groundhog day as I'm still on mat leave from work.

For those of you with children, I hope you can relate and if you have any tips on traveling with a baby let me know! Those who don't have kids but are planning on having them in the future, don't be scared, it's seriously not THAT horrible traveling with them!

December 08, 2012

My 5 favourite perfumes and a hint to my husband

I wanted to do a post on my 5 favourite perfumes, and in the process realised 3 of my top 5 are discontinued. That's right, no longer available at the stores. Typical! But that's why we have THE INTERNET, which means I can still track them down despite them being discontinued.
These aren't my favourite perfumes, I just really like these bottles! Image Source

My Top 5 favourite perfumes
I tend to like scents in the floral/oriental family. The main notes of the floral/oriental family include orange blossom and sweet spices, with base notes of musk and vanilla.
You will note that there are only 4 perfumes in this photo, that's because I've run out of my 5th favourite!

Left to right:
Lady Vengeance by Juliette Has a Gun - this is a very moody and dark fragrance with spicy musky undertones. This is a fairly recent addition to my perfume collection, but it has quickly become a favourite to wear during nights out. It's too overpowering for daytime, but is perfect to wear to a nice romantic dinner. This particular perfume is mainly sold at boutique perfume stores rather than department stores. It is also available to purchase HERE.

Sculpture by Nikos - this is my favourite perfume OF ALL TIME. I received a bottle for my 18th birthday many many years ago and I've never been without a bottle since. It's in the floral oriental category. It starts off with a zesty bergamot/lemon scent then slowly develops into a warmer scent with a hint of vanilla. It's great for daytime wear. Sculpture by Nikos is no longer available at the shops, but luckily I've been able to track it down online with Shopbot Service (a price comparison website) and at a really bargain price.

Black by Bvlgari - this is a unisex perfume and similar to Sculpture it has bergamot as one of its notes. Bergamot is a type of orange, but not too citrusy. It has base notes of black tea and is a soft woody frangrance. This is possibly my 2nd favourite perfume after Sculpture. And yes, this is also discontinued but you can still find it at discount perfume stores or online.

Midnight Fantasy by Britney Spears - yes, I admit, I like the Britney Spears perfumes! I like the original too, but Midnight Fantasy is my favourite! I'd probably put this in the floral/oriental category as well. It has top notes of black cherry, and finish off with a musky vanilla base. Everytime I wear this I crave blackforest cake for dessert!

Kenzo Amour Indian Holi (not pictured) - this is a limited edition from a few years ago, and I haven't been able to track this down at the shops but it is definitely available online. So if my husband was looking at buying me a gift for say Christmas or for my birthday, then I would highly recommend he tracks this one down (just click HERE honey). I'm seeing a bit of a trend here, as this perfume is also a floral/oriental with cherry top notes, and base notes of vanilla. It's perfect for day or night, and the bottle looks great displayed on the dressing table.

What are some of your favourite perfumes? Do you also hate it when your favourites are discontinued?


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